The Ingress Protection or IP rating is an important consideration during the selection of LED lighting products for any project. The IP rating reflects the suitability of the light fitting to specific environmental conditions in indoor and outdoor installations.
The first digit of an IP rating refers to the level of protection against solids, including dust particles, mosquitoes, moths, or flies. The second digit indicates the protection level against liquid with the number also providing guidance when it comes to on-site cleaning routines using sprays or water jets.
While dust resistance levels progress from 0 to 6, the water resistance rating is provided in a 0 to 9 range. In some cases, an X may be interchanged with one of the digits if it is not relevant to the requirements, for instance, IP4X.
An IP rating does not correlate to vandalism or other physical protection from impact; a separate classification called IK rating is used for this purpose.
IP Ratings in Interior Lighting
Most indoor lighting products are not designed for water exposure as risk from water damage is low compared to outdoor lighting. While dust or insects are not likely to damage the lights, a dust cover will impact the quality of light being emitted.
Common IP ratings for indoor lights:
An IP20 rating makes the LED light suitable for all indoor dry applications, such as offices, retail shops, bedrooms and living rooms.
Recommended products: BLSM-GKA05-18 (18w LED oyster light), BLSM-YUKI-25 (25W LED surface mounted light), BLTL-WE100-15 (15W LED track light), BLSL-MILL-28 (28W rectangular gimbal shop light)
IP40- (Not waterproof)
An IP40 rating will prevent insects from getting into the lights, but there is no protection from moisture.
Recommended products: BLPL-1200MBB-36 (600x600 LED panel light), BLPL-1200MBB-48 (1200x300 LED panel light), BLSM-BOXA1-12 (LED surface mounted light), BLSM-BOXB2-30 (30W LED surface mounted twin light), BLSM-LEAH-72 (72W LED ceiling light)
IP42 (Drip Proof)
IP42 rated LED lights are protected from tools and small wires greater than 1 millimetre. The lights can resist a few drops of water.
Recommended products: BLDL-EVA-12 (12W LED downlight), BLDL-EWS-15 (15W LED gimbal downlight), BLTL-ME207-40 (40W LED track light), BLTL-ME248-20 (20W LED track light)
IP44 (Splash Proof)
IP44 rated lights are suitable for bathrooms and applications exposed to water spray.
Recommended products: BLDL-WAH-10 (10W LED downlight), BLDL-007B-15 (15W LED downlight), BLDL-BO3-15 (15W LED gimbal downlight), BLDL-GIT-30 (30W LED downlight), BLDL-HALO-40 (40W LED downlight), BLDL-WAJ-07 (7W LED downlight), BLSM-YOKO-40 (40W LED can light)
IP Ratings in Exterior Lighting
LED light fittings for outdoor installations are designed to withstand harsh conditions including rain and dust.
Common IP ratings for outdoor lights:
IP54 (Dust Proof, Splash Proof)
IP54 lights offer protection against dust and splash, making them suitable for general outdoor use or damp indoor environments.
Recommended products: BLBL-PRIS-100 (100W industrial pendant high bay light), BLDL-GT8-30 (30W LED downlight)
IP64 (Dust Tight, Splash Proof)
IP64 products are fully protected against dust ingress as well as water splashes from any direction.
IP65 (Dust Tight, Jet Proof)
An IP65 rating makes the product completely dust-tight with protection against low-pressure water jets from any direction.
Recommended products: BLDL-PSD-10 (10W LED waterproof downlight), BLDL-APT-12 (12W LED waterproof downlight), BLWL-CYL-09X2 (18W LED updown wall light), BLSM-GKP07-24 (24W LED waterproof oyster light), BLBL-MWFR-150 (150W high bay), BLFL-TAM-30 (30W LED waterproof flood light)
IP66 (Dust Tight, Watertight)
IP66 means the product is completely dust-tight as well as protected against high pressure water jets from any direction.
IP67 (Dust Tight, Watertight)
An IP67 rated light is completely protected against solid particles, and can be submerged up to 1m in water for up to 30 minutes.
Recommended products: BLLL-IGL1-12 (12W LED inground linear light), BLWW-IGL3-36 (36W RGB inground linear light), BLLL-IGR1-07 (7W LED round inground light), BLLL-IGS1-09 (9W LED square inground light)
IP68 (Dust Tight, Pressure Watertight)
An IP68 fitting is hermetically sealed and suitable for continuous immersion in water.
Recommended products: Underwater pool flood lights (BLLL-PO1-03, BLLL-PO1-09, BLLL-PO1-24)